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13-04-24 | Greetings my friends. I’ve been struggling to write this article for almost 24 hours. Not because I’m overcome with emotions over the death of Roger Corman, but because there’s simply no way that you can do the man justice within a single article. Where do you begin to describe a man who directed over 50 films, produced an additional 400 and launched the careers of the greatest filmmakers of our time?

To most movie lovers Roger Corman is the source of some of the greatest filmmaking anecdotes of all time. Anecdotes like how he shot comedy horror movie The Little Shop of Horrors in a mere two days. Or that time he took LSD as part of his research for The Trip. While some love to giggle and gossip about the shortcomings of bizarre entries like Attack of the Crab Monster, he has also paradoxically become the darling of the critics.

While his competitors were barely able to make end meet (Ed Wood, anyone?) Roger Corman was embraced by intellectuals who invited viewers to overanalyse his tales of teenage rebellion like The Wild Angels and his take on the works of Edgar Allan Poe. This last series of films has to be my personal favourite, with The Pit and the Pendulum and The Haunted Palace being the ones that I particularly admire. But whereas others either admire Corman as a master of filmmaking, a lovable hack or both, I tend to think of him as marathon runner.

People tend to disparage artists with high outputs. The consensus seems to be that writers of romance novels, session musicians, comic book illustrators and commercial filmmakers create far too much and too little of consequence. The more you make the less it’s worth, right? Well folks, it won’t surprise you to hear that I don’t agree with that.

I’ve never been bored by a Roger Corman movie. The stuff he made was always of a certain calibre. No matter how seedy the subject matter, his films always had class. And even If they hadn’t, isn’t it incredible that the man was able to pull off over 450 of ‘em?! And that he did made them for SEVEN DECADES right up until the day he died? Roger Corman started running in 1954 and never looked back. I’m sure that Quentin Tarantino’s movies are better in so many ways … but come on: there’s only ten of them, guys

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying ‘more movies is better movies’, but as an artist I relate to the thrill of never standing still. There are so many great stories to be told. I’d rather tell ten of them haphazardly then excel at a single one. Consider that those who have a passion for travel tend not to settle down in one place. There is always another corner of the globe to explore, a dish to taste, a person to meet. It’s the experience that counts.

Roger Corman’s experience must have wholly been unique. And with a body of work so large it’s impossible for him to be forgotten. I’ve seen and enjoyed so many of his films and yet only scratched the surface. Though the man might be gone, I can continue to explore his films for decades to come. What a joy. What a privilege. Sweet dreams, Roger.